The Final Draft / A Good Man

[Image description: photograph of shadows cast by a person standing on an open metal stairwell. Their knee is bent in the centre of the image, facing left, and thick black bars of shadow cut across the image horizontally.]   vinod velayudhan / Creative Commons

[Image description: photograph of shadows cast by a person standing on an open metal stairwell. Their knee is bent in the centre of the image, facing left, and thick black bars of shadow cut across the image horizontally.]

 

vinod velayudhan / Creative Commons

The Final Draft

A rapid nib descends, amends once more
A pained farewell through piling drafts of irk.
The author writes with quite uncanny quirk,
To illustrate a common, grueling lore.
Her efforts, though the world will soon ignore,
Bring small relief, for she sees past her work;
For liberty creeps near through oily murk,
Unlike the recompense she would implore.
Yet throes of crafting perfect flow and form
Were distant now, for she’d escaped their snare.
At last, complete! She’d cleared the tempest storm.
The note she’d written shone, she walked on air
With knife in tow, departed from her dorm,
And left it at her mausoleum stair.

 

A Good Man

Am I a good man?

I shake off my troubles, and observe. Rubble towers almost endlessly, mountains caught by the shadows of civil structures in an industrial reversion from enterprise to earthen hillscape. Those turbulent throes of our troubled rock deliver scattered unfortunates to destruction with increasing frequency. Many, however, are not lost to such ill-fated ends, and the work of scouts is crucial in the rescue of the Reaper’s rebels.

A scout myself, I escort my party to the bottom of a sheer precipice. I sense survivors on the other side of the concrete wall; a discrete and distinctly human scent lingers amidst the dust, and I detect more breathing nearby than my party should account for. I leap and holler to signal my discovery, and succor descends, soon mending the hope of those uncovered.

Thus, caring for those most distraught, I spend the day dutifully answering calls to excurse and excavate, finding time in between to aid my awakening, wounded fellows. Granting respite to recently received refugees is its own noble cause, and I have always been gifted regarding bedside manner.

My first time exercising just that, I found myself sniffing the face of my companion, who brushed me away with a relaxed smile as she rose slowly towards consciousness once more. Seeing her loll ever closer to wakefulness, I must confess I forfeited civility and danced around her with glee, uttering cheerful gibberish. How could I not? With this prince’s kiss, my queen had awakened from what may well have been an endless sleep, as far as can be known!

I see my skills, saving those in suffering from the aftermath of disaster, and it brings a smile to both our faces.  “Who's a good boy?” my master asks me, and I bark in satisfied response because I know the answer.

I am a good man.


Aidan Kierans is a freshman computer science major at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has lived with up to seven dogs at a time in the family home, and enjoys spending his time playing the bass and the didgeridoo.